Editor’s picks: Thai Union on the move

By

Steven Hedlund

Published on
July 28, 2010

Here’s a recap of this week’s must-view SeafoodSource news stories and commentaries:

• When year’s end arrives in five months, Thai Union Frozen Products’ purchase of MW Brands — whose brands include John West, Petit Navire, Hyacinthe Parmentier and Mareblu — will easily go down as one of the biggest seafood-related acquisitions of 2010. By landing the French company in a deal valued at EUR 680 million, Thai Union increases Europe’s contribution to the company’s total sales from 11 percent to more than one-third and becomes one of the world’s largest shelf-stable seafood producers. The acquisition includes four processing plants in Europe and Africa and five fishing vessels.

• This week’s most-read item came from SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Nicki Holmyard, whose “Can aquaculture save sturgeon?” commentary profiled Dr. Cornel Ceapa, owner of Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar, who’s tapping into New Brunswick’s wild sturgeon resource to build a sturgeon-farming and caviar-processing operation. He’s even using a Caesarean technique to extract eggs from the fish without harming them.

• “Where’s all the fish feed R&D?” was this week’s second most-read item. For the commentary, SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Jason Holland had a candid conversation with Tony Smith, managing director of Dragon Feeds in Wales, about the lack of research and development in the global fish-feed industry. Smith’s company is trying to develop and produce a truly sustainable alternative to fishmeal using the polychaete Nereis virens, a species of sea worm that’s low on the food chain.

• This week’s third-most read item came from SeafoodSource Assistant Editor April Forristall, who interviewed Melissa Carrasquillo, City Sea Foods’ new chief sustainability officer, about the Los Angeles-based company’s newly created sustainability task force, which she’s heading up, and the sustainable-seafood movement in general. “I couldn't be more excited about the future of this movement,” said Carrasquillo. “We’re getting better at the science and better at sourcing. I’m … so happy to be a part of this revolution.”

• Finally, some not-so-good news for Europe’s oyster industry. Early this week, word surfaced that the OsHV-1 virus, which has devastated France’s oyster beds in recent years, reached Kent on Britain’s southeast coast. SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Lindsey Partos talked to a Cefas official about what the agency is doing to prevent the spread of the disease. Due to the herpes virus, France’s oyster production is expected to fall 40 percent this year.

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